Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.
Synopsis from Goodreads
This book was very emotional to read; I was getting hit by both from what was happening in the book and what was happening in the world as Adeyemi wrote this. Every step of the way, you can feel both her pain and her creativity as she combats police brutality the only way she can: with her words. This book is the beginning of a trilogy, so I was hesitant to start it knowing that there would be a huge gap before the next one came out, but I just kept seeing it everywhere and eventually had to pick it up. And I’m glad I did because it completely grabbed me.
Unique Creation of Magic
I thought it was really cool how magic is based on the gods blessing people; it’s a very unique take on a subject that has been covered over and over in fiction. But this was such a fresh way to look at it, and I loved the way Adeyemi included so many religious elements. The best part of the way magic is introduced is that it’s clear that something is changing; people are developing magically abilities later in life, as opposed to the tradition of being born with it. We’re left with the hint that it back, but now the question becomes why it is affecting anyone, as opposed to simply being given to people who should have been born with it (in trying not to give spoilers, so I’m being super vague about this!).
I wish we had one from Tzain as well though, but I did love the three POV‘s that we got in this book. I specifically loved that we were given not just Zelie’s POV as the “hero”, but also the point of view of Inan, a character who is dealing with a lot of inner struggle. Similar to getting Matthis’s point of view in the Six of Crows duology, getting this perspective from Inan makes a really big difference in this novel. We’re now forced to start looking at magic, something that we would almost just assume is naturally good, also has a dark side.
I also really liked that it wasn’t just two characters, good versus evil, but we also got the addition of Amari. I really felt like this gave us a lot of different viewpoints as everyone tries to understand what role magic should place in the world. I will say again that I wish we had Tzain’s perspective in this novel; he clearly cares so deeply about his sister, plus his growing emotions for Amari, and his history watching their mother and father be brutally hurt by the empire, that I think getting his insight on this journey would have been amazing. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we get more of him in the next book.
So Excited for the Rest of the Series!
I definitely do not know what to expect from this book; I very much walked in with my eyes closed, I had it read much on good reads or other book sites, I had just seen the book cover and a bunch of pictures. But I’m so excited for what’s going to happen next! This book completely grabbed my attention from the first page, and even though I wasn’t quite sure about where it would go, I knew I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. The adventure definitely will continue and the next book and we have so much more to discover as Zelie and Amari continue their mission. I’m really excited to get more from some characters (Tzain and Roen) who felt a bit sidelined in this book, but I trust that we will definitely be seeing more of them and our main characters in the next one.
At the core, this book is about equality. It’s a beautiful message and it became even more powerful after reading the Authors Note at the end (seriously, you should read it). As racism and discrimination grow in North America, this book ultimately shows us that blood is never the answer. It’s time to trust each other and learn to build a new and better world. I can’t wait to see what world Zelie and Amari begin building in the next book.
FINAL RATING: 4.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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